George Rogers Clark and William Croghan: A Story of the Revolution, Settlement, and Early Life at Locust Grove
Irish immigrant, William Croghan, arrived in America as a young British officer who soon sold his commission to join his somewhat infamous uncle just beyond the edge of civilization, near Fort Pitt. Virginian, George Rogers Clark, found himself among the same rich frontier characters in the waning days of Colonial government, but unlike Croghan, who followed Washington into the Continental ranks, Clark chose the distinction of leading Virginia’s (and thus, America’s) troops into the West. One man ended the Revolution as a Major, the other as a Brigadier General, but together, their war experiences represented the breadth of the War for Independence and concluded in their joint venture to survey Virginia’s western lands as bounty for the commonwealth’s militiamen. Croghan and Clark became brothers-in-law and eventually died under the same roof near Louisville, but not before they joined hands and pens in representing western thought through the turbulent era of Federalist America.
Gwynne Tuell Potts is a former executive director of William Croghan’s Locust Grove, a National Historic Landmark nominated in recognition of the site’s Clark association. A former Historic Locust Grove, Inc. board chair, she also served as CEO of the Blackacre State Nature Conservancy and taught history in Louisville and Atlanta public schools. She is a member of Kentucky’s society of The National Society of Colonial Dames, owner of Senator John Brown’s Liberty Hall in Frankfort.